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How to Find the Size of int in Java?

Understanding the size of data types is crucial for efficient memory management in any programming language. In Java, the size of an int is platform-dependent, which means it can vary across different systems. In this article, we will explore various techniques to determine the size of an int in Java.

The sizeof() method (Java 12+):

Starting from Java 12, a new method called sizeof() was introduced in the java.lang.Object class, specifically designed to obtain the size of objects. However, it's important to note that the sizeof() method does not directly support primitive data types such as int. It is primarily used for calculating the size of objects. Therefore, we need to employ alternative methods to find the size of an int.

The Sizeof Agent (Java Object Layout):

Java Object Layout (JOL) is an open-source library that provides various tools for object layout and memory measurement. By using the JOL library, we can estimate the size of an int. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Add the JOL library as a dependency in your project.
  2. Import the necessary classes: org.openjdk.jol.vm.VM and
  3. Use the VM.current() method to obtain the current virtual machine instance.
  4. Calculate the size of the int using the ClassLayout.parseClass(int.class).instanceSize() method.

Here's an example code snippet:

The Unsafe class (Unsafe.objectFieldOffset()):

The sun.misc.Unsafe class provides low-level access to memory in Java. Although it is not part of the official Java API and is considered unsafe, we can use it to determine the offset of an int field within an object. By subtracting the offsets of adjacent fields, we can estimate the size of an int. Here's an example:

Here's the complete code for both approaches mentioned in the article, along with their respective outputs.

Approach 1: Using Java Object Layout (JOL) library



Size of int: 16 bytes

Approach 2: Using the Unsafe class



Size of int: 4 bytes

Please note that the output may vary depending on the Java version, platform, and JVM implementation. The JOL approach provides a size of 16 bytes, which includes the object overhead, whereas the Unsafe approach gives a size of 4 bytes, which represents only the int field itself.


Finding the size of an int in Java can be challenging due to the platform-dependent nature of the language. However, by utilizing techniques such as the JOL library or the Unsafe class, we can estimate the size with reasonable accuracy. Remember that the methods mentioned in this article may not be supported in future Java versions or may have limitations on specific platforms. Therefore, it's always recommended to consult the official documentation and consider the specific requirements of your project when determining the size of int or any other data type.

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